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Unpredictably Amazing
Published: 09/26/2016  Updated: 12/06/2018
 
Arcadia Beach from viewpoint south of Cannon Beach, Oregon
Arcadia Beach from viewpoint south of Cannon Beach, Oregon
Photo by Gary Hayes

Fall and winter on the Oregon Coast offer frequent rewards for travelers who aren't afraid of unpredictable weather.

The summer crowds are gone and a different kind of traveler converges on the Oregon Coast. They come for a variety of reasons, primarily recognizing that the coast is a completely different and extraordinary experience this time of year. The lack of summer crowds is just the start. It's easy to get around, attractions and natural areas can be explored in a more intimate way and, if you want, you're likely to be able to find your own little slice of heaven that you don't have to share with anyone. Without distractions, the sound of the ocean, feel of the cool breeze and ocean mist in your face can be an inspiring natural adventure that can soothe your soul. The ocean is different in fall and winter. Don't be surprised to see big waves that explosively crash along the shoreline, turn foamy white or leave a spindrift of mist as they roll ashore. Herds of elk might be encountered around any corner, grazing in a coastal meadow. Still, the coast is not for everyone this time of year because, guess what? It might rain. While some weekend adventurers will watch the forecast for those not-that-rare sunny days for their visit, others come specifically for, or not caring about, a forecast that shows a chance of rain. I suggest the not caring about the forecast strategy. For me, the season's interesting cloud formations that can light up at sunset, dramatic darkened skies and the atmospheric marine layer that can blanket the landscape are as exciting as any sunny day. Take a chance on the unpredictable Oregon Coast in fall or winter and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature offers. You might get wet, but you're just as likely to experience something amazing that you didn't expect. That's the true beauty of the Oregon Coast. - By Gary Hayes

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